Venice: October 1557, 1-15

Pages 1334-1343

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1877.

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October 1557, 1–15

Oct. 2. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 1051. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Chiefs of the Council of Ten.
For the cause written in my last, Cardinal Caraffa and Paliano have during the last few days been very angry with each other, strange words passing between them, each party drawing up writings to be shown to the Pope, whereby the one revealed the other's defects; notwithstanding which, on the day before yesterday, the Duke told my secretary that he (Paliano) had by reason (conragion) convinced the Cardinal his brother, saying to him, “Either you have been empowered to promise (ò voi havete potuto prometter) what you have promised about Paliano or not; and I either am or am not bound to confirm it, or rather to express myself better, either I can or cannot consent to it, to my honour and profit. Let us have cognizance of the matter taken by two auditors di Rota (faciamo che lo conoscano dui auditori di Rota), one of whom to be Antonio Augustini who has such high repute in this [juridieal] profession, and is Spanish (et è Spagnuolo);. the other to be Fantuccio. Should they say that I can might lo ratify what you have promised, I will do so, should they indeed determine contrariwise, we will give it to be understood to the Duke of Alva, sending him the identical deliberation of the auditors, and letting him know that to do otherwise would be our rain, as the Pope would be the man to punish us without any respect; nor for this reason would he do any good to the person to whom I'aliano might be given, the renunciation not being made in due form, as known to me by experience, for a feudatory of my State of Montorio having disposed of the fief without my knowledge I deprived him of it and then being compelled by a person who had influence with me to pardon him, I was nevertheless forced to give him a good investiture as to a person who by right had lapsed from it (come à persona che di ragion ne era rieaduta); and the like would befall me were I to decide anything about the State of Paliano without the knowledge of the Pope, and of the College of Cardinals who gave it me;” adding that it was credible the Duke of Alva would be content with these reasons, especially when told that some other prorision will be made, so that all parties will have their intent. He said that to this the Cardinal assneted, and ansvered him that would they had spoken together in this form at the beginning, as there would not have been so many disputes (tanti rumori) between them.
Rome, 2nd October 1557.
Oct. 2 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1052. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Since my last of the 26th ulto. (fn. 1) nothing else of importance has happened save that the fortification of Han (fn. 2) is being continued with very great diligence, and towards the middle of the month will be in a state of defence, and inexpugnable from its position and structure.
The King has not chosen to depart thence lest his absence slacken the works, which whilst he is on the spot proceed most diligently, many of the soldiers working at the fortifications, following the example of their chiefs, who not only urge and command them, but do many things with their own hands. When the place is in a state of defence his Majesty will return hither, where they are already preparing apartments and other necessaries for the Court, which is much more numerous than usual, so many personages having come from several quarters for this undertaking, and his Majesty is expected here on the 20th instant.
The greater part of the army is round Han, but does not cease making forays daily, not only in the neighbouring places but also at a distance, so that they obtain immense booty, all the passes being open, and not meeting with impediment anywhere; the French being thus disheartened by defeat, though no important expedition is undertaken; but a few days ago it being heard that the French had re-entered Noyon with six ensigns of infantry, two standards of cavalry, and some pieces of artillery, and that they had captured and killed a few Spaniards who were there, the Duke of Savoy moved in that direction with part of the camp infantry and almost all the cavalry, so that here news of some skirmish was expected, because Noyon not being able to hold out, it was supposed that the French who returned thither had forces in their rear; but news came this morning that on hearing of the Duke's march they did not wait for him, and abandoned the place, so that his Excellency returned to Han with all the troops.
As to attempting a fresh expedition this year, no one either believes or talks, of it, but his Majesty will attend solely to the defence of the places gained, guarding Han, St. Quentin, and Catelet, he having so extended his frontiers, and advanced so far into the enemy's territory, that he cannot be considered to have done but little. The report of his Majesty's going to Spain in the spring still continues.
Brussels, 2nd October 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 2. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 1053. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Besides the caresses bestowed here by the Pope on the Duke of Alva, he sent the Rose to the Lady Duchess, his consort, and its bearer, the Signor Andrea Matteo Acquaviva, departed hence on Tuesday.
Yesterday, in consistory, the Pope said that the war had been waged owing to misinformation (mala informatione) received by him about King Philip and the Duke of Alva, both of whom he, in truth, subsequently knew to be his obedient sons and excellently disposed towards him, dilating much in praise of them. His Holiness then continued that these hostilities had subjected Rome to such distress and peril as were but too well known universally, and that they and the recent inundation of the Tiber were admonitions from the Almighty for the correction and emendation of the errors of all men, and that therefore thanking His Divine Majesty for having chosen to admonish, and not to punish utterly, it was necessary in acknowledgment for this mercy, not to be deaf to His voice; so his Holiness exhorted such of their right reverend Lordships as lived becomingly to continue thus to do, and counselled the others, who sinned like human beings, to mend their ways, saying that he would be the first to commence and reform himself; to which effect he intended (havea in animo) to elect six of their number to investigate whether what had been ordained hitherto for the reform was suitable (stavano bene), and that together with him they might provide for what remained to be done, they being authorised to change the amendments hitherto made should it seem fit to them.
After this the Pope was about to confirm the appointment of the Archbishop of Cologne, who is usually elected by the Chapter, but when his letter was opened in consistory with the signature “Elect of Cologne, Elector of the Empire,” his Holiness became so enraged that he would not even allow the letter to be read.
Rome, 2nd October 1557.
Oct. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1054. Michael Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The advices of peace with the Pope have arrived, and King Philip is extremely glad, he having always deprecated war with his Holiness. I am assured that King Philip sent lately an express order to the Duke of Alva to do his utmost to induce his Holiness to make peace, and not to regard his Majesty's advantage in the least, nor to stand on punctilio (nè si curasse di star sull' honorevole), but to humour the Pope in everything. Now that the affair is settled so much to the honour and advantage of this side (perhaps because that order did not arrive in time), it may be credited that the satisfaction has been much greater, his Majesty's repute augmenting so extraordinarily, to the detriment of his enemies, most especially through the coming of Cardinal Caraffa, who is expected here soon.
King Philip has given the archbishopric of Toledo to the reverend Dominican friar the Spaniard Bartolomè de Caranza. a man of low birth, but very learned, good, and honest. (fn. 3) He was heretofore the confessor of the Count de Feria, who, through his authority with the King, gave him precedence over everybody, including his Majesty's own confessor, who had reason to hope for it more than any one else, but is not in javour with the Count, because he openly blamed the cession of Sienna to the Duke of Florence, of which Count Feria was the principal author; so Miranda has become the richest prelate in Christendom.
The King has also given Count de Feria a commandery yielding 14,000 crowns, and an adelantaàship (un adelaniado) in Spain, of equal or greater value, to Don Ruy Gomez.
Brussels 3rd October 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1055. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King's chief project is to harass the King of England with the greatest possible number of forces, in as many quarters as may be in his power, with the hope that King Philip being compelled to divide his forces, will be inferior to his enemy everywhere, and in Picardy the King will quarter the army in great force, believing that King Philip will keep the greader part of his forces in these parts. He also intends to harass the kingdom of England by means of the Queen of Scotland [Marie de Lorraine], it seeming to him that great progress may he made in that quarter, both from the disunion of the English, as also from the weakness of the kingdom, and especially at this moment, when King Philip being occupied in so many directions for the protection and defence of his own states, Queen Mary cannot hope that much succour will be sent her by her consort; so his most Christian Majesty will be fail to aid the Scottish invasion with additional men and money, and he will also send fresh troops to Piedmont, and make such progress in the Milanese as practicable. I understand that the Ambassador Vigna will represent all these things to Sultan Soliman, praying him most especially to accommodate the King with as large a sum of money as shall please him (de quella maggior somma de denari che gli piacerà), because this kingdom having continued the war for so long a time in so many quarters, and the King now again, wishing to execute what is aforesaid, requires chiefly pecuniary assistance. (fn. 4) He will also request the Sultan to send his fleet towards Italy, with such a number of troops for a landing as shall seem fit to him, not only for the purpose of harassing the kingdom of Naples, Sicily, and the whole coast of the Mediterranean, but Spain likewise, thus compelling the King of England to garrison all the aforesaid seashore, and to seatter his forces in such a way as to give King Henry greater hope of effecting some important enterprise. I, nevertheless, have no authentic assurance that the King intends to send a fresh army into Italy at present, as reported lately, when it was said that he would thus take advantage of the Turkish fleet, but as aforesaid will merely add to his forces in Piedmont. The Sultan's reply is doubtful, but I hear for certain that Vigna has very large orders to satisfy him to the utmost, procided he lend a considerable sum of money, as with regard to the putting to sea of the fleet, they seem sure of that, not only from the offers brought by Vigna, but also owing to the rout of the Constable, which took place after his departure from Constantinople, and when known to Sultan Soliman, it is believed that he will be by so mach the more inclined to assist King Henry.
The troops of the King of Spain are continuing as usual the fortifications commenced by them, and according to report here, it seems that they are commencing a retreat, having already sent the heavy artillery to Cambrai, and a certain number of troops have departed; but what increases the belief in their intention to retire, is that they have burned Noyon, and laid waste the whole territory as far as that place, which they had hitherto always abstained from doing.
On this side the 6,000 Switzers have arrived at Compiegne, where there are already 18,000 infantry, including French and Germans, with a good number of . . . (fn. 5) [horse?]. Fresh troops still continue to arrive, and the provisione for the artillery, victuals, and every other requisite are already almost in order and on the coming of the Duke de Guise, which will take place in three or four days, the King is expected to go to Senlis, where such resolve will be formed about the march of the army as shall seem most expedient. The 4,000 Switzers who came from Piedmont are also a short way off, and in a few days will join the other troops.
From what I hear the Queen [Regent] of Scotland has asked his most Christian Majesty for 10,000 infantry and a certain number of horse, so it was determined to send her eight ensigns and 150 light cavalry, the captains having been despatched and orders sent to Britanny to form the companies. I have heard that on the arrival of these troops in Scotland, which cannot take place for two months, the King will send a fresh reinforcement of at least equal amount, for, the winter season being near at hand, they would be of little use in that cold climate. There was also a talk of sending M. de Termes on that expedition, he having been there heretofore, when he made himself popular with the Scots, and now is considered very fit to rule them; but it seems that at present the discourse has cooled, though towards the spring he likewise might be sent thither.
Poissy, 4th October 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 6? MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. XXIV. Cl. X. p. 187 recto e verso. 1056. Cardinal Pole to King Philip. (fn. 6)
With all due reverence I kiss your Majesty's hand on such good and auspicious news (et infelice (sic) nava), as communicated to me at this hour in your name by the Regent Figueroa, to the effect that the agreement has been concluded between your Majesty and the Pope's Holiness, for which not Italy alone but all Christendom have such great cause to congratulate themselves, and return thanks to God. I have received therefrom still more complete consolation and gladness, from hearing through your own letter written to the Regent, the great satisfaction felt by your Majesty preferring it to all the other auspicious events which God has conceded you, as in addition to the other testimonials it may serve as a very great one of the piety and excellent disposition of your Majesty, who, to say the truth, without this agreement, could not with reason fully enjoy any other success. Immediately on hearing this news, the most serene Queen chose it to be announced to all the bishops of the kingdom, that in like manner as they prayed, and had prayers made to our Lord God for this, so should they return due thanks for the Divine goodness; praying which to content, favour, and prosper your Majesty, for the benefit and quiet of Christendom, I humbly kiss your hand.
[London, 6th October 1557.]
Oct. 9. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 1057. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday, in consistory, the cross was given to Cardinal Caraffa for his legation, the election of the Archbishop of Cologne being also confirmed, it having been explained to the Pope that the titles which the Archbishop elect gave himself of Elector of the Empire, &c., were titles which depended (che dependevano) on his being Archbishop of Cologne. As the “despatch” of that See amounts in all to about 21,000 treasury ducats (ducati di camera), Cardinal Caraffa having to pass through that Archbishop's territory, and being of as much importance as an Elector of the Empire (et importando tanto quanto importa un elettor dell” Imperio), he asked as a favour that one third part of the tax might be assigned him (li fasse remesso), which was granted; and Cardinal Pacheco, who “proposed” the Archbishop, made Cardinal Caraffa a present of one third part of his fees for making the “proposal.” Having heard that Cardinal Caraffa was to depart immediately, or would remain here in retirement, I went to wish him a good journey, and success in his negotiations for the general peace. He answered me that he never undertook any mission more willingly than this one, because, God willing, none could be more beneficial to the world, nor more glorious to himself. I also performed the same office with his brother, Marquis Montebello, who accompanies him to King Philip.
Rome, 9th October 1557.
Oct. 9. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. (2nd letter.) 1058. The Same to the Same.
Cardinal Morone [Vice Protector of England] has received a copy of the charges brought against him for his defence, and rather more liberty has been allowed him. Persons conversant with the proceedings of the Inquisition consider this by no means a good sign for his right reverend Lordship.
On the 7th instant the “Fiscale” (fn. 7) was put in the Castle, the Governor of Rome being sent immediately to make an inventory of his effects and writings. Bozzuto likewise (fn. 8) is expected to fare badly, as besides having been deprived of the “superintendence of the State” (della sopraintendenza dello Stato), he has also been made to vacate his rooms in the palace. So all the ministers who exercised some authority have every one of them fallen, thus illustrating the miserable condition of those who depend on one single individual or on a few.
Cardinal Caraffa will depart for his legation on Monday, the 11th, nor will I omit to write, that although the Pope says publicly, as confirmed by the Cardinal, that he is going to negotiate the universal peace, well-informed persons are, nevertheless, of opinion that being accompanied by his brother, the Marquis, his object relates rather to private designs, and to the aggrandisement of his family, and I am assured on good authority, that having made terms with his Holiness, King Philip will do everything to gain them.
Rome, 9th October 1557.
Oct. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1059. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday evening M. de Guise arrived at the Court with the Duke of Altri (sic) (fn. 9) and Marshal Strozzi, and a great number of lords and gentlemen who came from Italy with his Excellency.
The King was in the park playing at pallmall (a giocare al palmaglio), and on being told that his Excellency was coming he left the game and went to meet him. The Duke, having thrown himself at his feet, was received by his Majesty so lovingly, and with so many embraces, that he seemed unable to detach himself from his neck, but after a good while, the Duke having risen, the King greeted the aforesaid Lords, making them many caresses, and very great ones to Marshal Strozzi in particular. It may be credited that his Majesty felt very great joy at this arrival, and principally from now having a compainon for his business and his toils, he alone having hitherto despatched the numberless affairs of recent urgency, rarely employing the Cardinal of Lorraine in military matters.
It is reported that M. de Guise will go one of these days with Marshal Strozzi to Compiegne to see the army which is mustered there, and return here to the Court, where a consultalion will be held with such knights and captains as are deemed most experienceed in warfare, and the plan of the army's proverdings will be settled, no sign being yet visible of the time when it is to march, as apparently, whilst the King remains at . . . ., (fn. 10) little of importance can be done.
The seven French ensigns brought by M. de Guise from Italy will go into La Bresse, where the 7,000 Switzers raised lately are also to remain, both because there is still some suspicion of the German troops levied in those parts by the Count of Ferette, as likewise on account of its being heard that the troops in the Milanese were accumulating with the intention of harassing Piedmont, which, if confirmed, his most Christian Majesty will send thither part or all of the said troops. M. de Guise has greatly noticed the Marchese de Cava, the son of the Duke of Paliano, which Duke is commended to the utmost by the personages who have come from Rome; but they do not speak in like terms either of the Cardinal or of Marquis Montebello, who they say never showed any sign of goodwill towards King Henry or his ministers. They say also (similmente) that the Pope's mind was always very much inclined towards his most Christian Majesty, and that when he heard of the rout of the Constable he could not refrain from tears, and did the like when he saw himself compelled to make terms with the King of England; and that remarks were made about the Cardinal's going to the interview with the Duke of Alva.
Poissy, 10th October 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. (2nd letter.) 1060. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
In a few days his Majesty will be in this city; the whole army, which, according to the muster made, amounts to 14,000 infantry, and no more, remains to guard the frontiers, but the cavalry remain in the same force as at first (nel numero che era prima), because they did not disband, and they have suffered much less than the infantry. The remaining English are but 500 in all, part having been killed, part left the camp from sickness (per l'infermità), and these few that remain will also depart; but the rest of the army has agreed to serve King Philip during the next six months, his Majesty giving them but four months' pay (4 paghe) for the whole time; for the residue they will provide for themselves at the cost of the weaker (di chi haverà minor forza). Thus will these frontiers be defended, and the Duke of Savoy, who remains with the army, will superintend the fortification of the places; and in the meanwhile it is heard that towards Burgundy those troops continue advancing to the detriment of the French
The Bishop of Aquila (fn. 11) has arrived, he having been sent by the Duke of Alva to give account to his Majesty of the conclusion of the peace and of the particulars treated by him with the Pope, and which were anxiously expected. I am assured that the King's satisfaction with regard to this peace is well nigh incredible, and the delay of the Duke's messenger made his Majesty fear that something had impeded its ratification; nor do they any longer speak against the Pope as heretofore, but transfer their abuse to the Duke of Ferrara, being perhaps no less disgusted with the Duke of Florence, who is generally said to be more inimical to King Philip than the Duke of Ferrara; and the Lucchese, owing to certain circumstances which have rendered them suspicious of Florence, sent a secretary, who is now with the army, recommending their town to his Majesty.
The Marshal of St. Andrè, who was captured at the rout of St. Quentin, is dead.
Brussels, 10th October 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1061. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is expected here next Sunday, and on his way from the camp he will go and see Le Catelet, and then come straight to this city, accompanied by Don Ruy Gomez, who is indisposed, and by other chief personages.
The whole army will remain for the present round Han, for the defence of the frontiers, but on the other side of the Somme, as, although the advices from France are rather contradictory, they nevertheless all agree in this, that the French are on the confines for the purpose of offering some impediment to these fortifications; so it has been determined to fortify Chauni, between Han and Noyon, but it is not yet known whether the work has been commenced. Immediately on the arrival of the Marquis of Pescara [Hernando Francisco de Avalos] at the camp he was confirmed in his grade of captain-general of the light cavalry.
The report of his Majesty's going to Spain continues.
Brussels, 13th October 1577.


  • 1. Not found.
  • 2. Ham, in Père Daniel (vol. 9, p. 843), but in “Foreign Calendar, Mary,” p. 335, there is a letter dated “Camp, Han-sur-Somme,” 19th September 1557, so perhaps the name was spelt both ways.
  • 3. Bartolomè Carranza de Miranda. Ju the 5th volume of the Breseian edition of Cardinal Pole's Letters (pp. 67, 68), there is one dated Lonion, 28th September 1557, in which he congratulates Miranda on this appointment. See note 17th November 1557, post.
  • 4. When this demand for a loan of two millions of gold arrived at Constantinople, the Bashaw Rusten said to the Venetian “Bailo,” Barbarigo, “Lookye, these people want to make war, and have no money, and although they have not paid what they owe for the cost of the fleet, they moreover ask us for two millions of gold.” Whereupon the “Bailo” remarked that Sultan Soliman loved and esteemed the French so far as it suited his own convenience. (See “Le Relazioni degli ambasciatori Veneti edite da Engenio Alberi,” series 3, vol. 3, pp. 158, 159.)
  • 5. Blank in MS.
  • 6.
  • 7. By name Silvestro Aldobrandini, as in Venetian Calendar, vol. 6, part 1, p. 593, where his abuse of the Duke of Alva is minutely detailed, and we now see how it was avenged immediately after the Pope's reconciliation to King Philip.
  • 8. Bozzuto likewise is mentioned in a footnote, Venetian Calendar, vol. 6, p. 593.
  • 9. Duke of Atri. See the late Sir William Hackett's Index to Foreign Calendar, “Mary.”
  • 10. Illegible cipher.
  • 11. Alvaro de Quadra. (See General Index, Foreign Calendar, 1558, 1559.)